By Cindy Koch –
We are often attacked for our dedication to our children. There is a world beyond our friendship that belittles our lifelong joy of being a mother. But we have been bound together by the great blessing of bearing children. And it’s only you I can turn to now.
You have been a part of my life since the birth of my first baby. I remember screaming in harmony with you in the delivery room. Whether in Missouri, Georgia, or California, I think of our toddler playdates and stroller walks together. You helped me figure out discipline and love and boundaries and grace, all while our children climbed the jungle gym. We would escape out together for a girls’ night now and then and share our struggles, fears, and failures as mothers. You have been a trusted friend somewhere in every place and stage I walked through. And we still stand side by side, encouraging one another to live as faithful moms.
We decided together to raise our children to be considerate and kind. We praised them for their good choices and their perseverance, especially when tasks were hard. We disciplined our little ones to respect others but also have their own confidence. We encouraged their dreams and strengthened them to live in reality. We forgave them when they failed; we asked forgiveness when we were wrong.
But as my children grew into young women, your boys became men. Our shared advice grew more general, and we both knew now there was more to the conversation about our children. And so, my dear mother of boys, consider this plea from a mother of girls.
My girls have been formed by a very powerful identity in our home. Day after day, they watch a woman care for her family. They are protected by a father who loves them all deeply. They have grown up in a world where a wife helps her husband and her husband leads his family. They have been taught to cook and clean. They have been taught to reason and debate. They have been steeped in the good gifts of God from the very moment they were created. We have always encouraged our girls to grow up to love and enjoy their special calling as women.
In their young quest to love and serve their neighbor as women, your boys now enter into the picture. Your boys are the men that they will lovingly follow. Your boys are the men that will care and protect and lead these little women. Your boys will give the word of forgiveness to my little girls.
I realize now that our job of motherhood has ended up to be very different. Instead of quietly loving her spouse, you must teach him a bold, decisive word. Instead of following down uncertain paths, you must inspire him to lead the charge. Instead of beating back Satan’s call for her dominance, you must help him fight Satan’s call of lazy cowardice.
And so, mother of boys, raise them well. Step aside, and let his father push him into manhood. Give him opportunity to struggle and hardship so that he can practice leading through the darkness. Submit to your own husband and your God so that your boys see it done in love. Let him go when he is a man so that he can cling to his wife and care for her. After all, I taught them to be the women who will care for your boys.
Our children’s future together depends on both of us.
Much love, hope, and trust, my dear mother friend,
– A mother of girls